6th July 2020

Tailor/department store button

Charles Birks & Co, Adelaide

Charles Birk c.1870 State Library SA https://collections.slsa.sa.gov.au/resource/B+7108









Charles Napier Birk (1844-1924) came to South Australia with his family in 1853. In 1864 he and partner David Robin took over the drapery store of Mr G. Shaw in Rundle Street. The partnership was dissolved in 1876, with Charles continuing alone.

Taking partners, including his brother Walter Richard Birks, into the business, it became Charles Birk & Co. in 1881. Charles’ son Napier Kyffin Birks started as an office boy in the firm in 1893. He would become a partner, and later sole proprietor.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) 24th August 1953 page 2. Napier Birks, 1877-1953.

The store had expanded in 1888 and again in 1913, by then occupying Rundle Street from Stephens Place to Gawler Place. It became a limited liability company in 1920. It purchased a neighbouring warehouse in 1932, now expanded to 4 acres of floor space. David Jones purchased the company in 1954 after the death of Mr Napier Birks. Myers had also been interested in purchasing it.

News (Adelaide) 20th December 1954 page 33.

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